Monday, June 16, 2008

Guide to Athfest 08: June 18-22

Athens is an interesting place in the summertime. Like most college towns, its streets are flooded with students who return to their respective hometowns during the summer. Like most college towns with elite athletic programs, Saturdays during the fall semester have been known to sometimes bring a few folks into town. So the summer offers an interesting dynamic for us year rounders. Athfest, the city's summer music festival, is one of the only events of the "off season" that can successfully draw the teeming masses back to the classic city. For four days in June, the streets are closed off and once again crowded as the entire city becomes one big showcase for the tremendous talent that Athens is known for. Now, instead of going on and on about how great the music scene is (or how hot its going to be), I would rather just dive right in. Most of what I'm about to say is on the general info page of the Athfest website, plus a few extra details. We'll call this a primer:
The music portion of the festival is divided between the outdoor stages and the club crawl. The main outdoor stage is located right in front of the 40 Watt on Washington St. and is free for all, no wristband required. For anybody who went to the Widespread Panic concert in Athens ten years ago, the stage is in the same spot. For the club crawl, you will need a wristband which is available online, at local retailers, at the main stage, at venues, and pretty much every where else during the festival. They cost $15, and one wristband allows you full access to all of the participating club crawl venues as long as you are old enough to get in and the place isn't at capacity. NOTE: There is only ONE wristband, not different colored ones for every night or something like that. So once you put that sucker on Thursday afternoon, you can't take it off until the end of the festival. I also have to mention the Athfest compilation cd containing music from area bands, most of whom are playing the festival.
Okay, now for the bands. I should probably mention that, as someone who sees music on a weekly basis in Athens I have put together a line up of bands that I am going to see. There are a few really great bands playing at the same time as other great bands so I have included as many options as I could. Most of the bands that I provide links to are bands that I always like to see around town. Of course, feel free to see whoever you like, and trust me there is music for every taste at the festival and you will no doubt see some stuff that you like/hate.

Thursday, June 19
8:00 p.m. : The Athens Flagpole Music Awards --Morton Theatre (doors @ 7:30 p.m.). $5 with AthFest wristband/$10 day of show/$8 advance. Tickets will be available at the Flagpole office, SchoolKids Records and the Morton Theatre Box office. Bands to perform include: Twin Tigers, Spring Tigers, Kenosha Kid, Kyshona Armstrong, The Buddy System, David Blackmon, !Moyuba!, C-Fre$h, and the UGA Redcoat Drumline. Even though the official dates are June 18-22, this has always been the official opening event of the festival in my opinion, don't worry you're not missing anything before this.

Friday, June 20
7:00 p.m. : Five Eight--Outdoor Stage
7:40 p.m. : David Barbe--Outdoor Stage
9:00 p.m. : Producto--Caledonia
9:10 p.m. : Dark Meat--Outdoor Stage (Headliner, 17 piece psychadelic rock band)
10:00 p.m. : Pegasuses-XL--40 Watt
11:00 p.m. : The Ginger Envelope--Little Kings
11:30 p.m. : Contraband--Georgia Theatre (Do not miss; two guys beat Contra on a big screen without cheat codes-or dying once-while the band, which features members of Cinemechanica, plays the theme music to the video game just as flawlessly).
12:00 midnight: Lake City--Little Kings
Red Legs--Farm 255
12:20 a.m. : Velveteen Pink--Georgia Theatre
1:00 a.m. : Twin Tigers--40 Watt
Kuroma--Farm 255 (Hank Sullivant's (The Whigs, MGMT) new band)
Elf Power--Georgia Theatre
Madeline--Little Kings

Saturday, June 21
3:00 p.m. : Blue Flashing Light--Outdoor Stage (featuring my good friend J.J. Bower on drums)
4:00 p.m. : Weirdbeard--D.A.R.C Studio
4:40 p.m. : Bill Mallonee--Outdoor Stage
6:00 p.m. : Ponderosa--Outdoor Stage
7:00 p.m. : Spring Tigers--Outdoor Stage
9:00 p.m. : Modern Skirts--Outdoor Stage (Headliner)
10:00 p.m. : Sleepy Horses--Georgia Theatre
11:00 p.m. : A.Armada--40 Watt
The Dumps--Caledonia
Elliot Mcpherson (of The Dexateens)--Cine
11:30 p.m. : Bloodkin--Georgia Theatre
12:00 midnight: Gift Horse--Little Kings (Okay, this is my band and I'm always down for shameless self-promotion, but if you don't want to see us, here's some other bands too).
We Versus the Shark--40 Watt
The Empties--Tasty World
1:00 a.m. : Cinemechanica--40 Watt
Enoch Bledsoe (of Twin Tigers)--Cine
Don Chambers + GOAT--Georgia Theatre

Sunday, June 22
1:00 p.m. : Lefty Williams Band--Outdoor Stage (Bluesy guitarist with only one arm; pretty amazing).
6:00 p.m. : Nic Goodson (of Sleepy Horses)--Cine

Hope I'm not leaving anything out, I'm sure I am. But, Athfest has grown into a renowned music festival and I think it's a good sign when there is too much good music to hear and see. Hope to see you there, and nevermind those 300,000 morons at that other music festival.


Bop said...

Dang. Good stuff.

JJ said...

Mike may not be interested in shameless self-promotion, but I'll do it for him. Come out to Little Kings Saturday at midnight. I'll be there, and at the very least you can kick my ass if you don't like the countdown. You'll get to hear some good music at the same time.